Usually after a game like we had last night, you would be reading an angry post that’s over 1000 words long, and involves me trying to not curse on the internet. I’m not going to do that this time. When the ship is sinking, the last thing you need is more people panicking.
The Houston Dynamo recorded yet another road loss last night. This shouldn’t be breaking news, and should have been expected. However, everybody that supports this team was hoping that we were finally on one of our patented late season surges into the playoffs.
That did not happen. I’m not going to analyze last night’s 3-0 loss in Columbus, because Kyle has already done that beautifully. We’re just going to take this opportunity to be logical.
Everything went against us last night; not a single result went our way. Our loss wouldn’t have been so bad if everybody else above us also lost. That did not happen, though. We lost, while everybody else but Chicago won (and they got a draw). Now with all of that in mind, let’s take a look at what we have to probably do in order to get into the playoffs.
The New York Red Bulls are currently in the 5th and final playoff spot with 31 points, 10 games remaining, and hold an average of 1.29 points per game. If they keep the same pace they will end up with 44 points at the end of the season. The Houston Dynamo currently have 25 points, 10 games remaining, and an average of 1.04 points per game.
Using the 44 point prediction for that 5th playoff spot, Houston needs 45 points in order to finish above that mark, because let’s be honest we are not winning any tiebreakers. That means that Houston needs 20 points from the final 10 games. Houston has 5 home and 5 away games remaining. The Dynamo have only gotten one road victory all season, so we should try to depend as little as possible on those results.
Which leaves us with one option, we have to win out at home in order to depend less on our road form. If Houston manages to win out at home, we are at a 40 point total for the season. That leaves us with the task of obtaining 5 points from 5 away games. Houston would need to either pick up two victories, 5 draws, or a victory and two draws from those games in order to have a shot at the playoffs.
In order to have some historical perspective for this task. I’m going to show you our points per game averages in the final 10 games for every past Houston Dynamo season in order to see how realistic our chances are.
As the table clearly indicates, the Houston Dynamo have never finished off their season with a 2 points per game average from the final 10 games. The closest we’ve gotten was in 2008. There are two things that make this statistic even more staggering.
The Houston Dynamo are often times praised for the way they end their seasons. However, we’ve only finished with 5 victories from our final 10 games three times in our history. The second fact that’s kind of shocking, but shouldn’t be, is that the season we finished closest to obtaining the much needed 2 points per game average was in 2008. That season we finished top of our conference and only 6 points away from winning the Supporter’s Shield.
By the way, the team with the best points per game average in the league is Seattle with 1.83. At the moment, they’re only 1 point away from tying the Supporter’s Shield leader D.C. United, but Seattle has a game in hand. In other words, Houston has to finish off the season with a better points per game average in these final 10 games than the Supporter’s Shield winner will probably have at the end of the season from 34 games.
In all honesty, it looks bad, it almost seems impossible, but this team has shocked us in the past. Let’s all hope that they have a few more tricks up their sleeve, and if they don’t at least we will still witness an historic Houston Dynamo season. It’ll be historic because with our current points per game average, we will actually end the season with a worse average than in 2010. The 2010 season being the only season we did not qualify for the playoffs.